AGM: Accreditation Board Report

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Sandra Duncanson and I (Steph Heriot) joined the IPEd Accreditation Board roughly a year ago. We shared the role for a number of months, serving as the Victorian delegates. This required us to attend committee teleconferences every couple of weeks, an undertaking that was made more manageable by the fact that we were sharing the role.

As committee members, our main duty was to assist in the preparations for the 2016 accreditation exam, which took place in June. This required a lot of discussion as this was the first year that the exam was conducted on-screen. This was something that people had been requesting for a number of years, and 2016 was the first year it was implemented.

This, of course, meant we had no precedent to rely on and faced a number of issues for the first time.

In March, Sandra and I, along with the Editors Victoria events team, organised an information evening about the exam. We had a fantastic turnout of over 40 attendees.

Susan Keogh, Lorna Hendry and Stephanie Holt attended as guest speakers: Susan as our veteran invigilator and workshop presenter to discuss exam preparation and Lorna and Stephanie to discuss their experience preparing for and sitting the 2014 exam.

Sandra and I both gave our top tips for sitting the exam and outlined the details of the exam – length and date etc. We also asked for expressions of interest from people about allowing people to sit the exam on Macs.

This topic was discussed at length during committee meetings. We had to decide whether it would be worth offering two platforms and how important it would be to Mac users to be able to use Macs, rather than having to refamiliarise themselves with PCs.

We included a question on the registration form – for when people signed up for the exam – asking who would use a Mac only, who would use a PC and who didn’t mind. Given the number of requests we had to provide Macs, we decided to offer the exam on PCs and Macs.

This was quite an undertaking, as the exam venue housed PCs only. The board, therefore, had to negotiate hiring Macs and bringing them in for the day, which meant that the Mac users did not have the same level of technical support as the PC users.

Some of you may have heard we had problems with several of the Macs during the exam, and this was unfortunate and unexpected. This will certainly be something we discuss in depth next time.

On the day, Sandra and I invigilated, assisted by Kym Logan, Lorna Hendry and Lu Sexton. Lorna was especially invaluable as she was our Mac guru, and knew what to do to get the Macs restarted.

Despite the problems we had, the exam was run successfully, and most candidates appreciated the on-screen format.

We had a pass rate of 47% overall, which was relatively low, but which we believe proves that the exam serves its purpose of granting the Accredited Editor (AE) designation to those who demonstrate competency across all parts of the exam paper and in the skills specified in Australian standards for editing practice. Victoria performed well and had a pass rate of 60%, and now has 13 new AEs.

Sandra and I, on behalf of the IPEd Accreditation Board and Editors Victoria would like to congratulate all new AEs and to commiserate with those who didn’t pass. We wish you the best of luck next time.

Certificates are currently being organised and are likely to be ready for the October meeting for those AEs who asked to have their certificates presented to them. All other AEs will receive theirs in the post around the same time.

Sandra stood down from the board after the IPEd transition, which no longer allowed us to share the role. The board is now reviewing renewal of accreditation applications from AEs who sat the exam in 2011.

(For those of you who don’t know, in order to maintain accreditation, AEs don’t need to resit the exam but instead need to show proof that they’ve been working in the industry and have attended professional development sessions in order to keep their skills up to date.)

Applications should all be assessed by the end of September, so stay tuned if you were accredited in 2011.

Steph Heriot
IPEd Accreditation Board Representative